Set in World War II Yugoslavia, Radio Siga transmits the story of Kalman Gubica, a hard-drinking, but well-meaning, layabout who is forever changed after being struck by lightning.
Haunted by the voice of his long-dead father, Kalman struggles to find meaning in his life. Drinking more doesn't help quiet the maddening messages in his head and neither does settling down with a Russian female soldier, nor joining the resistance trying to keep at bay the Hungarian fascists and German Nazis who have occupied Yugoslavia.
Darkly funny and touching, Radio Siga reveals a facet of World War II not often encountered by English-language readers.
About the Author
Ivan Vidak is the author of the short story collection Ugljik na suncu (Carbon in the Sun). He lives and works in Zagreb, Croatia.
Matt Robinson was born in 1978 in Buckinghamshire, UK. He grew up in the village where the children’s author Roald Dahl lived, on the High Street where the Big Friendly Giant snatched Sophie from her orphanage bed. Having graduated in Politics with East European Studies from the University of Nottingham, he moved to Belgrade in 2000 and worked for the independent radio station B92 as an editor, translator, and newsreader before joining Reuters news agency as a foreign correspondent. He spent the next fifteen years reporting from southeast Europe, the Middle East, and former Soviet Union, but kept returning to the Balkans. This is the first novel he has translated. He lives in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
"Vidak makes hay of Kalman’s farcical antics, which evoke Czech writer Jaroslav Hašek’s The Good Soldier Švejk. Overall, this is an enjoyable romp."--Publishers Weekly
"Much of what stands out about Ivan Vidak’s work in Radio Siga is the way that protagonist Kalman’s eccentricities curdle into something more sinister as the novel progresses. It’s a difficult tonal balance to pull off, but Vidak succeeds."--Tobias Carroll. Words Without Borders